Progress Notes | June 2021

Last month we celebrated the graduation of the VTCSOM Class of 2021, our 8th class. This milestone would not be possible without you - our dedicated faculty, staff, residents, students, VTC partners, and engaged community members and friends. It is with heartfelt gratitude that I thank each of you . . .

  • for your Courage in the face of the pandemic threat, disruption and uncertainty;
  • for your Humanism and Compassion in support of our students, patients, and each other;
  • for your Collaboration and Excellence as we implemented curricular innovations and inclusive strategic planning efforts; and
  • for your Commitment to our Mission: preparing future physician thought-leaders to implement advances in clinical care to improve the health of our communities.

It has been a year of intense and heroic service, demonstrating and affirming our values and the importance of the work we do. I feel grateful to be serving as dean during this historic time. You have inspired me through your courage, compassion, connection and commitment. As we look forward to continued progress on the return to normal, I look forward to seeing your friendly faces in the coming months.

Lee A. Learman

*Reprinted from email distributed Monday, May 10, 2021

Rebecca King (left) and Jane Gay (right) are currently third-year students at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine. They had their sons during their first year of study and bonded over the shared experience.


  • Lauren ‘LB’ Canary, class of 2024, has been elected to a two-year term on the National Rural Health Association's Rural Health Congress and led a panel discussion at the organization’s annual rural health conference last month to discuss infectious disease response in rural communities throughout the U.S.
  • Angelica Witcher and Aubrey Knight presented at the AAMC Group on Student Affairs spring meeting with a poster/presentation titled “A Longitudinal Career Advising Curriculum Aimed at Successful Matching.”
  • A number of faculty members were honored recently in Carilion Clinic's recent Cheers for Peers newsletter.
  • Hannah Hudson has been promoted to senior admissions operations manager.
  • Farewell to Mark Morrison as he takes a new position as senior director of major gifts at Larner College of Medicine at the University of Vermont.


head shots. details below
Elizabeth Dennis, Katherine Murphy, Joshua Wainwright


We welcome three new additions to the VTCSOM family: 

  • Elizabeth Dennis, Admissions Operations Specialist
  • Katherine Murphy, Admissions Operations Manager
  • Joshua Wainwright, IT Specialist

Welcome to New Faculty

Welcome to all the new faculty who joined us in May:

  • Basic Science Education: Pamela Keebler
  • Emergency Medicine: Michael Green
  • Internal Medicine: Eliud Irizarry,  Timothy KochOm SamantrayKrishna Sukayogula, and Nichalas Yelverton
  • Pediatrics: Hannah Smith
  • Surgery: Zachary Swanner

Diversity and Inclusion Notes

  • Did you know that you can find events related to diversity, equity, and inclusion at VTCSOM all in one place? Events are continuously being added to the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion calendar, which can be found on our website.
  • On Thursday, June 17, at 10:00 a.m., join us for our latest Lunch and Learn event: Microaggressions and Microinterventions: A Presentation/Workshop/Dialogue with Derald Wing Sue.
    Register in advance.
  • Arizona State University is hosting a conference on Cultivating Black and Native Futures in Education from June 17-19
  • June is:
    • LGBTQ+ Pride Month
    • Immigrant Heritage Month
  • Holidays and celebrations in the month of June:
    • 3: Corpus Christi
    • 11: Feast of the Most Sacred Heart
    • 14: Flag Day
    • 19: Juneteenth (observed June 18)
    • 20: Father's Day
    • 21: Litha (Midsummer)
    • 27: LGBTQ+ Pride Day
Frank Clark

Spotlight on Giving

This month we begin a new column in Progress Notes called Spotlight on Giving, in which we highlight some of the stories and successes of philanthropy at VTCSOM. Our first story is about our growing VTC Diversity Excellence in Medicine Scholarship Fund.

Four years ago, Frank Clark as a then-member of the Dean’s Council on Advancement, started the VTC Diversity Excellence in Medicine Scholarship Fund with a gift of $5,000 to support students underrepresented in medicine.

This year, he personally reached out to his network of colleagues, family, and friends inviting them to donate. Nearly 175 people responded, raising more $25,000. This generosity – combined with the VTCSOM strategic focus on inclusion and diversity – inspired two other Dean’s Council members, Jackie Wieland and Mark Watts, to lead an effort to fully endow the fund, committing a total of $100,000.

Humanism Notes

In her narrative medicine publication, What Remains, Alex Miner from the Class of 2023 revisits the meaning of these two words as her short essay moves from knowledge to insight to compassion to essential truth. While brief to read, its message is timeless and transcendent.

Take Note

Upcoming Events

  • June 18 – Juneteenth (observed - campus closed)
  • June 28-July 1 – Class of 2023 (M3) orientation and bootcamp
  • June 29 – Student Clinician's Ceremony
  • July 5 – Independence Day (observed - campus closed)
  • July 6 – Class of 2024 (M2) classes begin
  • July 19 – Class of 2022 (M4) rotations begin
  • July 26-30 – Class of 2025 (M1) orientation
  • October 15 – White Coat Ceremony
Student being hooded

The Last Note

Cheers to members of VTCSOM’s eighth class who graduated last month. The ceremony was a little different this year due to COVID restrictions, but the pomp and circumstance were still the order of the day. We’re so proud of these students and the places they’ll go!

Add Your Own Note

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